castaway

A castaway is someone who's stranded on shore, often after surviving a shipwreck. A sailor who swims to a small island after a terrible storm can call herself a castaway.

A castaway is more likely to be a character in a book than a real person, although occasionally a survivor has found him or herself washed up on an island. Some theories about what happened to the pilot Amelia Earhart after her disappearance include the idea that she was a castaway on some Pacific island. In the 15th century, a castaway was "one who is rejected." The deserted island survivor meaning came along in the late 1700s.

Definitions of castaway
  1. noun
    a shipwrecked person
    synonyms: shipwreck survivor
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    type of:
    abandoned person
    someone for whom hope has been abandoned
  2. noun
    a person who is rejected (from society or home)
    synonyms: Ishmael, outcast, pariah
    see moresee less
    types:
    heretic, misbeliever, religious outcast
    a person who holds religious beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church
    leper
    a pariah who is avoided by others
    Harijan, untouchable
    belongs to lowest social and ritual class in India
    type of:
    unfortunate, unfortunate person
    a person who suffers misfortune
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